Across the country thousands of firms are buckling in the face of the credit crunch - unless they happen to be based in Sutton or Croydon.

New figures show several small businesses around the two borough have been enjoying their best trading conditions for years. found there was a debt collector, insolvency practitioner, pawnbroker or money lender for every 17,800 residents in Sutton and 17,895 in Croydon.

After pinpointing “countercyclical firms” around the UK, it emerged only four locations were reaping richer rewards from the economic downturn.

Tony Martin, chairman of Locallife, which comprises 325 internet directories, said: “Higher mortgage rates, combined with rising fuel and food prices, are seeing many people’s finances stretched to the limit.

“But it’s clear the credit crunch is not bad news for everyone. Businesses such as insolvency practitioners and debt collectors are best placed to, not only survive, but prosper during the turmoil”

It seems Sutton and Croydon have more than its fair share of these businesses.

A spokesman added: “Places with the highest number of businesses immune to the credit crunch have contrasting levels of income.

“Far from being Britain’s poorest areas, four of the top ten – Barnet, Sutton, Croydon and Havering – are among the top 100 local authorities for average gross weekly earnings.”

Bailiffs and loan companies are not alone in enjoying a renaissance. Game, the computer games retailer, Domino’s pizza, and local tearooms have increasingly lured cash-conscious customers.

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